Baffled locals who used to boast that they had one of the healthiest rivers in China because there were no factories along its banks were baffled when within the space of an hour the river turned a deep, dark red.
Clear plastic bottles dipped into the water at Xinmeizhou village in Cangnan County in eastern China's Zhejiang province quickly filled up with the red-colored liquid which had a strange smell, according to villagers.
Local Na Wan said, "A few people that were up and about at 5 a.m. said that everything was normal but then suddenly within the space of a few minutes the water started turning darker and eventually was completely red.
"The really weird thing is that we have always been able to catch fish and you can even drink the water because it's just normally so good. Nobody has any idea how it could have ended up being polluted because there are no factories that dump anything in the water here."
Environmental experts were on the scene taking samples of the water and said that they suspected it was discharged from a dye factory even though there was none in the area.
One expert said, "We suspect that maybe somebody drove here to dump stuff. We are looking further upstream to try and find out where the source was of this pollution."
First published July 26 2014, 7:13 AM